(Exo 16:1 NASB) Then they set out from Elim, and all the congregation of the sons of Israel came to the wilderness of Sin, which is between Elim and Sinai, on the fifteenth day of the second month after their departure from the land of Egypt.
Exo 16:1: The exact location of Elim and the wilderness of Sin are not known. Many explanations for these locations are given, but they all depend upon the location of Mt. Sinai.
They had been traveling 30 days now. They left on the fifteenth day of the first month.
(Exo 16:2 NASB) And the whole congregation of the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness.
(Exo 16:3 NASB) And the sons of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the LORD’S hand in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the pots of meat, when we ate bread to the full; for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”
Exo 16:3: The unleavened bread they had prepared was now gone and they people were grumbling. They had nothing to eat and were complaining that Moses brought them into the wilderness to die. However, they were far from starving. They left Egypt with numerous flocks and herds. They probably didn’t want to slaughter them for food because flocks and herds were the measure of wealth in that day.
There are ways to address issues and there are ways not to address issues. Whining, complaining, and grumbling are not good ways to address an issue. Especially when dealing with Elohim. But the people were not grateful, thankful, or gracious for the deliverance they were given.
This grumbling eventually led to the people not being allowed into the Promised Land (Num. 14:22-23).
(Exo 16:4 NASB) Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether or not they will walk in My instruction.
Exo 16:4: Elohim is speaking to Moses only. Moses is not going to tell the people that this is a test. Moses is going to give the people instructions to follow. The obedience is up to them.
(Exo 16:5 NASB) “And it will come about on the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.”
Exo 16:5: Notice that this is long before they arrive at Mt. Sinai and the Covenant is made. Elohim does not give them detailed instructions on how to follow the Sabbath here. He simply states that on the sixth day, they are to gather twice as much as they do on the other days.
Instructions on following the Sabbath were not necessary. The people already knew the Sabbath Day was sanctified at creation (Gen. 2:2-3). The people already knew that they were not to work on that day. Therefore, Moses knew what Yahweh was referring to when He said to instruct the people to gather twice as much on the sixth.
This follows along with other truths we see in Scripture. Sabbath, which was instituted at creation, was made for man, not just for the Jews (Mark 2:27-28).
(Exo 16:6 NASB) So Moses and Aaron said to all the sons of Israel, “At evening you will know that the LORD has brought you out of the land of Egypt;
Exo 16:6: It is amazing that the people needed more proof that Elohim brought them out of Egypt. It was not Moses and Aaron. They were acting on Elohim’s behalf.
(Exo 16:7 NASB) and in the morning you will see the glory of the LORD, for He hears your grumblings against the LORD; and what are we, that you grumble against us?”
(Exo 16:8 NASB) And Moses said, “This will happen when the LORD gives you meat to eat in the evening, and bread to the full in the morning; for the LORD hears your grumblings which you grumble against Him. And what are we? Your grumblings are not against us but against the LORD.”
Exo 16:8: Their grumblings were not actually against Moses and Aaron. They were grumbling against Elohim. They couched it as grumbling against Moses and Aaron, but their hearts were against Elohim.
When man rejects His Word and His message, he is actually rejecting Elohim Himself (1 Sam. 8:7). Conversely, if one receives His Word and is obedient to it, that person also receives the Father and loves Him (John 14:21-23).
(Exo 16:9 NASB) Then Moses said to Aaron, “Say to all the congregation of the sons of Israel, ‘Come near before the LORD, for He has heard your grumblings.'”
(Exo 16:10 NASB) And it came about as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the sons of Israel, that they looked toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the LORD appeared in the cloud.
Exo 16:10: The glory of Elohim appeared in a cloud. This was probably a luminous presence within the cloud. This presence of Elohim was to affirm the words of Moses and Aaron to the people.
This is the same way that Elohim appeared at the transfiguration of Yeshua (Matt. 17:5).
(Exo 16:11 NASB) And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,
(Exo 16:12 NASB) “I have heard the grumblings of the sons of Israel; speak to them, saying, ‘At twilight you shall eat meat, and in the morning you shall be filled with bread; and you shall know that I am the LORD your God.'”
Exo 16:12: Elohim mentions again the grumblings of the people. He is going to give them the meat they want and the bread they are demanding. The bread is going to be provided six days per week for 40 years. But the quail will only be occasional.
(Exo 16:13 NASB) So it came about at evening that the quails came up and covered the camp, and in the morning there was a layer of dew around the camp.
Exo 16:13: These quail were probably a kind found in Judea as well as in the deserts of Arabia and Egypt. They are a very good food.
(Exo 16:14 NASB) When the layer of dew evaporated, behold, on the surface of the wilderness there was a fine flake-like thing, fine as the frost on the ground.
(Exo 16:15 NASB) When the sons of Israel saw it, they said to one another, “What is it?” For they did not know what it was. And Moses said to them, “It is the bread which the LORD has given you to eat.(Exo 16:17 NASB) And the sons of Israel did so, and some gathered much and some little.
Exo 16:15: We do not know exactly what this manna was, but it must have been similar to the grain we use for bread because it was prepared similar ways (Num. 11:7-9).
(Exo 16:16 NASB) “This is what the LORD has commanded, ‘Gather of it every man as much as he should eat; you shall take an omer apiece according to the number of persons each of you has in his tent.'”
Exo 16:16: An omer is a little over two quarts. This is plenty of food and nourishment for a person every day. They were not to gather more of it than an omer for each person.
(Exo 16:17 NASB) And the sons of Israel did so, and some gathered much and some little.
(Exo 16:18 NASB) When they measured it with an omer, he who had gathered much had no excess, and he who had gathered little had no lack; every man gathered as much as he should eat.
Exo 16:18: Some people gathered more than an omer, some gathered less. But when they got together, they all measured it with an omer and shared it with one another so they all had the prescribed amount.
(Exo 16:19 NASB) And Moses said to them, “Let no man leave any of it until morning.”
(Exo 16:20 NASB) But they did not listen to Moses, and some left part of it until morning, and it bred worms and became foul; and Moses was angry with them.
Exo 16:20: This spoiling of the food was not a totally natural phenomenon. Elohim used this spoiling process to punish the disobedient. They were to live by faithfulness and obedience to Elohim and not by how they felt or by their own desires.
(Exo 16:21 NASB) And they gathered it morning by morning, every man as much as he should eat; but when the sun grew hot, it would melt.
(Exo 16:22 NASB) Now it came about on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for each one. When all the leaders of the congregation came and told Moses,
Exo 16:22: The people did what they were told and gathered twice as much on the sixth day. They wanted further instructions from Moses on what to do on the seventh day.
(Exo 16:23 NASB) then he said to them, “This is what the LORD meant: Tomorrow is a sabbath observance, a holy sabbath to the LORD. Bake what you will bake and boil what you will boil, and all that is left over put aside to be kept until morning.”
Exo 16:23: This passage is what most Jews use as proof of prohibition against cooking any food on a Sabbath Day or High Sabbath Day pertaining to a Feast Day.
However, the passage does not state that they should not cook food on the Sabbath. It says to bake what they are going to bake and boil what they will boil. All that is left (that is, what is not cooked and is to be used for the next day) should be put aside and kept until the next morning. It does not say that they must eat raw manna on the Sabbath. As a matter of fact, on the first day of the Feast of the Unleavened Bread, we are told that we are not to do any work, except for cooking (Ex. 12:15-16).
(Exo 16:24 NASB) So they put it aside until morning, as Moses had ordered, and it did not become foul, nor was there any worm in it.
(Exo 16:25 NASB) And Moses said, “Eat it today, for today is a sabbath to the LORD; today you will not find it in the field.
(Exo 16:26 NASB) “Six days you shall gather it, but on the seventh day, the sabbath, there will be none.”
Exo 16:26: The people were to trust and believe that Yahweh would provide for them daily. They were to trust that the Sabbath is declared holy (set-apart) and that they are to take this fact very seriously.
Once again, there is no prohibition against preparing food on the Sabbath. The prohibition is against gathering it on the Sabbath.
(Exo 16:27 NASB) And it came about on the seventh day that some of the people went out to gather, but they found none.
(Exo 16:28 NASB) Then the LORD said to Moses, “How long do you refuse to keep My commandments and My instructions?
(Exo 16:29 NASB) “See, the LORD has given you the sabbath; therefore He gives you bread for two days on the sixth day. Remain every man in his place; let no man go out of his place on the seventh day.”
Exo 16:29: Many Jewish sages have said that this passage is a prohibition against mobility on the Sabbath. They used the reasoning that no man should travel more than 2000 cubits outside the city walls on the Sabbath in accord with this passage. This distance is derived from the boundaries of the Levitical cities in Numbers 35:5. They also say that this distance is justified because it is the distance that the people stayed behind the Ark of the Covenant at the crossing of the Jordan River (Joshua 3:4).
However, the context of the passage is that no man is to leave his place to gather manna on the Sabbath. I do not see this as a restriction against leaving one’s house on the Sabbath. We must look at the example of Yeshua who came to teach Torah in it’s fullest. He went to the synagogue on the Sabbath (Luke 4:16 and others). Paul did the same thing (Acts 18:4).
(Exo 16:30 NASB) So the people rested on the seventh day.
(Exo 16:31 NASB) And the house of Israel named it manna, and it was like coriander seed, white; and its taste was like wafers with honey.
Exo 16:31: The coriander plant grows wild in Palestine and Egypt. It produces small, spicy graywhite seeds. But the descriptions given to manna do not fit any natural substance we have today. It would not remain edible overnight except for the Sabbath. It appeared every day except the Sabbath for forty years.
(Exo 16:32 NASB) Then Moses said, “This is what the LORD has commanded, ‘Let an omerful of it be kept throughout your generations, that they may see the bread that I fed you in the wilderness, when I brought you out of the land of Egypt.'”
(Exo 16:33 NASB) And Moses said to Aaron, “Take a jar and put an omerful of manna in it, and place it before the LORD, to be kept throughout your generations.”
(Exo 16:34 NASB) As the LORD commanded Moses, so Aaron placed it before the Testimony, to be kept.
Exo 16:34: The omer is not mentioned again as a measure in Scripture. It alone is used as a measure of manna. This was later placed before the testimony to be kept as a reminder to future generations (Heb. 9:4).
(Exo 16:35 NASB) And the sons of Israel ate the manna forty years, until they came to an inhabited land; they ate the manna until they came to the border of the land of Canaan.
(Exo 16:36 NASB) (Now an omer is a tenth of an ephah.)
Exo 16:36: The manna continued for forty years and ceased when the people entered the Promised Land of Canaan (Josh 5:12).
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas